Educators partner with children through what we call the inside-out approach. We believe that intentional thoughts, efforts, and understandings enable us to enter the inner world of children. Families experienced the wonder and joy of the inside-out approach and the passion our children have for literacy night during UCCC's annual Literacy Night on April 7.
Our educators selected a list of high quality books that allowed our children's imagination to soar, introduced a world of vocabulary, and reflected our children's unique interests. Next, children voted for one book to represent their classroom. Rocking the vote and exploring the electoral process, our children participated in classroom campaigns promoting their favorite books.
By campaigning, our children rallied together around an idea and cause. The process of voting and campaigning also gave children a voice and an opportunity to express their feelings, and respect others' opinions. Children were given a sense of belonging and appropriate power throughout the entire campaign and voting process.
The experiences leading up to Literacy Night and the teachable moments that happen daily at UCCC reveals that when educators truly understand children, magic happens in the classroom. Supporting children from the inside-out requires a deep level of understanding and commitment. As we support a child's inner world, it becomes easier to support their behavior - because all behaviors has meaning that needs to be understood.
At the end of the day, children will not remember that their teacher taught them "A" is for "alligator" when reading "There's an Alligator Under My Bed," they will remember that he or she understood, comforted, and nurtured them as they explored their voice and sense of power.
UCCC's 2016 Book of the Year Awards Winner: There's an Alligator Under My Bed